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Biochemical characteristics of settling particulate organic matter at two north-western Mediterranean sites: a seasonal comparison

AuthorsRossi, Sergio ; Grémare, Antoine; Gili, Josep Maria ; Amouroux, J. M.; Jordana, E. ; Vétion, Gilles
KeywordsGross sedimentation rates
Settling particulate organic matter
Biochemical characteristics
Spatial comparison
North-western Mediterranean
Issue Date2003
CitationEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 58(3) : 423-434 (2003)
AbstractGross sedimentation rates (GSR) and the main biochemical characteristics of settling particulate matter were monitored at two NW Mediterranean sites (the Bay of Banyuls-sur-Mer, France, and the Medes Islands, Spain) throughout a year to assess possible differences in particulate organic matter (POM) availability to the benthic community. A similar seasonal pattern was observed at both sites with higher organic contents and lower GSR during the spring–summer than during the autumn–winter period. At both sites, there was a negative correlation between GSR and sediment trap organic contents, which is indicative of the importance of resuspension in driving GSR. Along the same line, GSR in Medes correlated positively with wave height. The principal component analysis based on GSR and biochemical characteristics of sediment trap material always segregated samples from the two studied sites mostly due to the occurrence of higher lipid and lower carbohydrate contents in Medes. These differences were indicative of the presence of more labile settling POM in the Medes Islands. They were more pronounced during the spring–summer than during the autumn–winter period. Such a pattern may reflect differences in the sensitivity of the two studied sites to resuspension. According to this interpretation, between-sites differences would be high when resuspension is low (i.e. during the spring–summer period when resuspension would mainly affect Banyuls) and become low when resuspension is high (autumn–winter period when resuspension would affect both sites).
Description12 páginas, 7 figuras, 2 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0272-7714(03)00108-2
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
(ICM) Artículos
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